Published October 21, 2012
| Sports Network
Charlotte, NC – Dan Bailey kicked four field goals, including two in the final 3 1/2 minutes of regulation, as the Dallas Cowboys claimed a 19-14 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Week 7 action.
Tony Romo finished 24-of-34 for 227 yards and a touchdown for the Cowboys (3-3), who snapped a two-game slide.
Miles Austin paced the Dallas offense with 97 yards and a TD reception on five catches, while Jason Witten added six grabs for 44 yards.
"We knew it was going to be a tough battle. You think about the weapons they have on offense, we knew it was going to be a good challenge," said Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett. "I thought we moved the ball very well on offense, but there were times we didn't convert on third downs but Dan was there to pick us up."
Cam Newton threw for 233 yards and one score while adding 64 yards on six carries for the Panthers (1-5), losers in four straight.
Steve Smith totaled 83 yards on seven receptions, Brandon LaFell posted a touchdown catch and Mike Tolbert posted one on the ground for Carolina.
"You'd like to win this football game just like any other game, but we just have to make more plays," Newton said. "It feels like we've been finding ways to lose games rather than win. We need to have that kind of accountability."
Bailey's 28-yard make with 3:25 left in the fourth quarter gave the Cowboys a slim 16-14 advantage. Dallas then held on 4th-and-1 in Carolina territory, forcing an incompletion, and took over at the Panthers' 39 with 2:08 to go.
Six plays later -- and after forcing the hosts to burn their final two timeouts in the process -- Bailey converted a 38-yarder with 53 seconds on the clock for a 19-14 contest.
Newton hit Smith for 26 yards and a first down on the final possession, then spiked the ball and threw an incompletion before taking a sack on third down. Newton connected with Greg Olson on the final play, but the quarterback lost the football during an extended lateral sequence as time expired.
"We trust our defense immensely," Garrett added. "We knew we were going to be challenged by that offense in a lot of ways. We felt like getting them to use their time outs was going to work to our advantage."
Dallas' first score of the game came on a 19-yard field goal from Bailey, capping a 91-yard, 18-play drive which bled into the second quarter and squeezed more than 10 minutes off the game clock.
Carolina's next drive reached the red zone, but an errant Newton pass found the hands of Dallas cornerback Morris Claiborne in the end zone instead. But the Cowboys gave the ball back on the ensuing series, as Austin was stripped and Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly recovered.
Despite a personal foul which pushed the line of scrimmage back 15 yards, the Panthers eventually punched it into the end zone, as Newton found LaFell and he managed to cross the goal line at the left pylon with 14 seconds to play in the half.
Romo found Austin in the back-left corner of the end zone on Dallas' second drive of the second half for a 10-7 lead. Bailey connected on a 49-yarder on the visitors' next drive for a six-point margin.
Tolbert's two-yard scoring run gave the Panthers a 14-13 edge with 11:38 remaining.
Dallas has won nine of the 10 all-time regular-season meetings, including nine in a row dating back to 1998 ... Cowboys center Phil Costa left the game late in the first half with an apparent ankle injury. While attempting to tackle a Carolina player following a Dallas turnover, he had his leg rolled onto ... Dallas was held to 85 yards rushing in the victory, but held Carolina to 2- of-10 efficiency on third down.